We have been working to protect elephants in Assam, India for over 10 years.
Assam provides one of the last remaining strongholds of this species of elephant – so, the work of our Assam Haathi Project is vital, not only for the elephants but also for the local communities. The conflict between people and elephants is a major risk to the future of elephants in Asia and has even lead to severe injuries and even death of villagers and elephants.
We have pulled together some key points (below) from the latest project report, and I’m sure you will agree that the progress the project is making is astounding.
Our Assam Haathi Project now works with a total of 78 villages – 20 which are the primary project villages and 58 are neighbouring villages that also feel the benefit of the work the project does.
The search lights which are provided to the villages to act as elephant deterrents and keep them away from the crops to avoid damage in a safe and animal-friendly manner, were used a grand total of 1492 times across all of the villages! In total, over 200 spotlights and torches have now been distributed.
The eight electric fences in the project villages being powered by solar panels were all up and running by the end of 2014. Collectively, theydeterred elephants over 100 times, significantly decreasing the human elephant conflict cases in all of the project villages. Other electric fences are also being used in other villages and as a result there has been no or negligible loss of crops, housing and lives.
Chester Zoo has also facilitated the organisation of six veterinary training days for the care of pigs, poultry and cattle. Over the course of the year, 265 farmers from 19 villages attended the training days to learn about better husbandry practices for their animals.
Want to learn more about Asian elephants and the work we’re doing in Assam to protect them from extinction? Today on World Elephant Day our zoo rangers at Chester Zoo have organised a series of activities for you to take part in.
The activities include building circuits and sharing the stories from our last expedition to Assam. Discover how an electrician is linked to elephant conservation and how important it is to maintain livestock – plus loads more!
If you do visit Chester Zoo on Wednesday 12th August and have your face painted as an elephant, you will be helping us to continue protecting wildlife, as proceeds with go towards Act for Wildlife.